The Alliance for Progressives (AP) leadership has expressed concern about the rampant mismanagement of public funds orchestrated by the current regime.
Speaking during the launch of the party in Francistown on Saturday, AP Special Advisor to the president, Dr Margret Nasha said lack of accountability in the Botswana Democratic Party-led government is a breeding ground for corruption. “Currently, many government ministries have levies that are not monitored and corrupt leaders are now looting funds from such levies for their personal gain,” said the former speaker of the national assembly.
Nasha is of the view that to ensure prudent use of state resources, there should be accountability. She noted that they have long warned Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo that having many levies that are not accounted for creates a climate for corruption but their advice was ignored. “People in Gaborone are now looting public funds from levies that are not monitored but no action is being taken against such perpetrators,” she said. Nasha noted that these days senior public officers can easily divert funds and use such funds not for the intended purpose but no punitive actions are taken.
Party leader, Ndaba Gaolathe echoed Nasha’s sentiments. Gaolathe revealed that state funds that are being misused could be channelled to build infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. ”There are no medication in most of public hospitals across the country, the money that is looted could be used to buy medication for Batswana,” said Ndaba. He added that most of the schools experience shortage of books and classrooms whereas funds are not used prudently.
“Despite the protest from opposition members of parliament not buy grippen fighter jets, government will go on to buy the expensive jets even though many of the youth are roaming on the streets without jobs,” he said.
According to Gaolathe, if there was accountability and monitoring, the P300 million that went missing from the National Petroleum Fund could have been utilized to the benefit of the whole nation. Gaolathe noted that some of the funds that went missing could have been used to keep the now defunct BCL mine afloat, hence saving jobs of the more than four thousand miners who lost their jobs when the mine was put under provisional liquidation more than a year ago.
He also decried lack of utilization of abundant mineral resources in the country. Gaolathe stressed that Botswana still imports power from neighbouring countries despite having coal that can be used to produce electricity.